Good news for those still bitter about Lexi Thompson’s penalty at the ANA Inspiration. The USGA and R&A are slated to make an unspecific announcement about the ruling.
Thompson, if you’ll recall, was slapped with a four-stroke penalty after a viewer called in about her improper marking of a ball during the ANA Inspiration’s third round. She was docked two strokes for the marking and another two for signing an incorrect scorecard. Lexi went on to lose the tournament to So-yeon Ryu in a playoff.
While there’s no word on the specifics of the USGA/R&A announcement, the smart money is on an immediate revision to the notion that a scorecard, once signed, can be revised if some penalty is later determined.
New USGA rules to be implemented in 2019:
Again, the majority of the ire wasn’t directed at the original infraction, and perhaps not even the armchair referee, but rather the fact that Lexi Thompson wasn’t told until the back-nine on Sunday that she was being penalized for something that happened on Saturday.
While it’s late in coming, it’s a good move from the USGA and R&A. And while readers may have had enough of the storyline, trust that players (and many fans) are still up in arms. Golf Channel’s Randall Mell rounded up LPGA player sentiment (not good) and revealed the LPGA commissioner and USGA officials are dodging reporters.
Here’s this from Cristie Kerr:
“Everyone’s pissed off, not just players. Random golfers I see are coming up and saying, ‘Can you believe what happened? It’s an outrage.’ People aren’t happy.”
And this from Brittany Lincicome, herself twice a winner of the soiled ANA Inspiration.
“We’re all up in arms over that. There’s definitely a lot of us talking about this, and it’s definitely very frustrating for us. I have a ton of concerns, and I feel like it’s just being swept under the rug. It feels like there’s nothing being done, and it’s just, ‘Hey that’s the way the rule is, and this is how it’s going to continue to be.’
Well, it looks like the USGA and R&A are reluctantly agreeing to lift the rug and deal with the festering absurdity. Hopefully, an injection of common sense is forthcoming, rather than the usual efforts to deify the game and its sanctity at the expense of those who play it.